Thursday, April 16, 2015
ADSS 1.9 Michael Ready, NCWC to Amleto Cicognani, Apostolic Delegate: communication from the President
ADSS 1.9 National Catholic Welfare Conference (1) Secretary Michael Ready (2) to Amleto Cicognani (3), Ap Del USA.
Reference: Memorandum attached to Report 366/39 (4) (AES 4632/39)
Location and date: Washington DC, 15.04.1939
Summary statement: President Roosevelt desires the Pope be informed about the message he is sending Hitler and Mussolini.
Mr Sumner Welles (5), Under-Secretary of State called me this morning (April 15) at eleven o’clock and said that he spoke to me at the request of the President. Mr Welles said that the President would release to the Press later this morning copies of communications, which, the President had addressed by cable yesterday (April 14) to Premier Mussolini and Chancellor Hitler urging a peaceful settlement of the present crisis in Europe. (6) The communication outlined, Mr Welles said, a tentative procedure for insuring the status quo of the European national set-up. Mr Welles said that “the President was anxious that the Papal Delegate be informed of the communication and requested to petition the Holy Father’s support of the appeal for a peace conference”. Mr Welles said he was sending to me immediately several copies of the President’s communication that I could give to his Excellency the Apostolic Delegate.
Mr Welles spoke with noticeable emotion and said the situation was desperately grave. He asked me to convey his respects to the Apostolic Delegate.
As soon as the copies of the communication came form the Under Secretary I went immediately to the Delegation and gave the copies to his Excellency the Delegate and informed him of my conversation with Mr Welles.
(1) The National Catholic Welfare Conference was established in 1919 by the American bishops as an advisory body that issued statements on Catholic teaching on education, welfare, immigration and health care. It was reformed in 1966 as the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
(2) Michael Joseph Ready (1893-1957), priest of Cleveland Diocese, General Secretary of the National Catholic Welfare Conference 1936-43. Appointed Bishop of Columbus in 1944.
(3) Amleto Cicognani (1883-1973), Apostolic Delegate to the United States, 1933-59. His older brother Gaetano was Apostolic Nuncio to Austria 1935-38 and Spain 1938-53. Both brothers were later created cardinals.
(4) ADSS 1.75
(5) Benjamin Sumner Welles (1892-1962), Undersecretary of State 1937-43.
(6) See ADSS 1.10 n1.